
Beiträge von Stan Vernooy
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Rezensionen verfasst von Stan Vernooy (Henderson, NV)







9 von 10 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen
You want your 10yearold to win a Nobel prize some day?, 1. August 2000
Then give her this book! It seems that almost all the reviewers had the same experience: we read this book at an early age, and it was so fascinating, so inspiring, and so magical that it directed us into math and science for the rest of our lives. In my case the book was loaned to me when I was about 12, by my best friend's father. As a result, when I wrote MY first math book (which cannot begin to compare with Gamow's!) thirtyfive years later, I dedicated it to my friend's father in gratitude. The book explains how mathematics and science really works, in language which a young person with an eighth grade education can understand. Everyone thinks it takes a genius to understand relativity, but there are lots of fifteenyearolds walking around with a decent understanding of Special Relativity simply because they read this book. But don't be misled into thinking this book is just for young people. It's for anyone who thirsts for knowledge and understanding, anyone who realizes that it doesn't require an alien life form to understand physics and math. Gamow discusses some of the great unsolved problems in mathematics (at least two of which  the fourcolor problem and Fermat's Last Theorem  have been solved since the book was written), the theory of relativity, the usefulness of imaginary numbers (square roots of negatives), geometry of more than three dimensions, and many other topics which most people think are accessible only to those anointed with stratospheric IQ's. But Gamow's writing is so clear and entertaining that you'll come away wondering why EVERYBODY doesn't understand those topics. A particularly vivid memory I have of the book is Gamow's demonstration that there are different sizes of infinity. He didn't originate the idea, of course; it was first thought of by a mathematician named Georg Cantor. But once again Gamow makes the mathematics so clear and accessible that I was enthralled. You will be too.









4.0 von 5 Sternen
Gripping and interesting, but some major flaws, 28. Juli 2000
This is an exciting and well written mystery, with a couple of flaws. The story is of a judge who presides over a murder case with political ramifications. His marriage is shaky as the book begins, and there is a plot by some people with interests in the case to capitalize on his marital problems by setting him up and blackmailing him. The plot is complex and interesting enough to maintain the interest of most mystery fans, but there are a couple of problems. Probably the main problem is that I knew the guilty party almost immediately, purely on the basis of the political philosophies of the characters [and I'm being deliberately vague here to avoid giving things away]. When a book is as predictably politically correct as that, it is a major drawback. Secondly, as many other reviewers have mentioned, the plot to blackmail the judge was so transparent that it is inconceivable that anyone smart enough to be a judge would not have seen through it. Neither of those problems prevented me from enjoying the book. They just caused me to feel some annoyance when the book was finished. As is so often the case, I want more flexibility in Amazon's rating system, and would have given it three and a half stars if that were allowed. So read this book, but don't expect a masterpiece.









1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
4.0 von 5 Sternen
Another solid whodunit along with historical atmosphere, 25. Juli 2000
This is the third Anne Perry novel I have read. They are all well crafted, intelligent cozy mysteries, along with an interesting portrayal of the culture and politics of Victorian England. This particular book revolves around a peace conference for Ireland which is being held at Ashworth Hall, hence the title. Ashworth Hall happens to be the home of the sisterinlaw of Inspector (now Superintendent) Pitt, who is the hero of this series of Perry's novels. Moreover, the politician presiding over the conference has been the subject of death threats in the recent past. So Pitt is asked to attend the conference, without revealing his identity, as a security measure to prevent foul play. Unfortunately, Pitt fails. Two murders are committed despite his efforts, terrifying both the guests and the sizable contingent of servants. We then have the usual collection of suspects and motives, and Pitt eventually sorts through all of the information to solve the mystery  with considerable help from his wife Charlotte and their maid Gracie. It's a tightly written mystery, along with a convincing portrayal of Victorian mores and the unending hatreds in Ireland. It doesn't quite rise to the level of true literature, as Elizabeth George's and P. D. James's books often do, but it's a solid, highquality production.









4.0 von 5 Sternen
Don't take it for more than it is, 4. Juli 2000
This is a wonderful book. Morrie Schwartz, the subject of the book, is a warm and endearing character. His courage and thoughtfulness as he observes his own approaching death is inspiring. It wouldn't be a bad idea for all of us to read this book about once a year (it takes only about an hour and a half to read) just to keep our lives in perspective. The book reminds us of things which we already know, but to which we give little attention in our everyday lives. On the other hand, Morrie Schwartz was not the source of all the wisdom of the ages. His observations are often trite and his recommendations impractical. To make him into a guru, or the touchstone by which success in life is to be measured, would be to read far more into this book than is actually there. Appreciate it, and him, for the treasurable personality which comes across vividly in Albom's writing. Be grateful for the Morrie Schwartzes in your life. Then go out and build your own life, on your own values, your own observations, and your own experience.









1 von 1 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen
5 stars, but it's pornography. Don't expect anything else., 3. Juli 2000
This is another installment in the "Ironwood" series, a book about an institution where young women are sent to learn to be accomplished sex slaves. It is well written and wonderfully arousing if you're into BDSM. (And if you don't know what BDSM is, then you're not into it!) Winslow  whoever he is, since it's almost certainly a pseudonym  has an active and fertile imagination, and balances physical pain with psychic humiliation well enough to satisfy the connoisseurs of either. On the other hand, if you have no interest in the subject of erotic domination and submission, then you will be offended  indeed, probably disgusted  by this book. Don't read it! (And by the way, to answer the previous reviewer: I think we can be confident that the story of this being a recently discovered manuscript from somebody's basement in Denmark, or wherever, is silly fiction. Even Winslow himself may not exist  he's probably a committee.)









5 von 5 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen
Excellent for either reference or selfteaching, 2. Juli 2000
When I was in a topology course in graduate school, I constantly returned to the Munkres book to get clearer explanations of concepts than any of the graduatelevel books could provide. What is noteworthy is that the ease of understanding did NOT come at the price of shallower coverage or lack of mathematical rigor. Although this is an undergraduate text, it covers almost everything you would get in a firstyear graduate course in point set topology. If you want to learn that material for the first time without an instructor, then this is the book to use. And, if you are working in another area of mathematics, and come across words like "compact", "metric space", or "connected", and have forgotten what they mean, go straight to Munkres. He always talks to you like a real human being.









2 von 2 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen
This gives you what's usually left out of textbooks, 25. Mai 2000
If all math textbooks included the kind of material and discussions in this book, students would learn better and be more interested in math. The standard math book is a continuous list of definitions and theorems, interspersed with examples of how to do certain kinds of problems. Never does anyone explain how and why people came up with the ideas in the first place, or why such and such a theorem is important, or what kinds of problems triggered the research and investigations which have been done. "Shut up and learn it!" seems to be the universal slogan. Nahin's book can't really be used as a textbook, but it provides an allimportant context for the material found in various courses all the way from Intermediate Algebra to Complex Analysis. In fact, I think the primary beneficiaries of a book like this are math teachers (like me!). The material in this book will enable me to flesh out and personalize some ideas which are found in a variety of courses which I teach. When someone asks me why anyone ever thought of having a square root of negative one, or what kinds of problems it's good for, this book will enable me to give some interesting answers. And, of course, I'll pretend that I came up with those answers all by myself!









6 von 6 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen
The best there is  and I'm familiar with the others, 13. Mai 2000
I was one of the prepublication reviewers for the second edition of this book. I have not been shy about telling a publisher that their book stinks if that's my opinion. But the Stewart book was then, and remains now, IMHO, the best introductory calculus text available. Please note that the majority of negative reviews came from people who have seen exactly one calculus book, and they clearly don't like calculus! But I have taught from three of the most popular books, and I've read most of the others. There may be other books which take a radically entertaining, nontraditional, and more superficial approach to the subject, and those books may meet with approval from people who really don't want to learn calculus. But of those (many) books which cover the traditional topics in an introductory calculus course, no other author has written a text as learnable as Stewart's. On every topic, Stewart is clearly conscious of the fact that his reader doesn't already know the subject, and he has given some thought to exactly what has to be explained in order for the student to learn successfully. Remember, most textbooks are not written for students: they are written for the professors who are going to choose the books. Professors are not generally impressed with a book which spends a half page clearly describing the meaning of a theorem which can be written with a oneline equation. But students will appreciate the effort Stewart has exerted to help them learn. Stewart does not sugarcoat or resort to gimmicks or superficiality in order to make the material learnable. All the material is there, it's just presented with an awareness that the reader is trying to learn calculus for the first time. If you are taking a calculus course with any other book, try to get a cheap used copy of the Stewart to use as a supplement. It will help!









4.0 von 5 Sternen
Solid and unbiased, 16. April 2000
The first thing to say is that this book is not a biography. Almost nothing of Reagan's life prior to 1980 is discussed, and the assassination attempt and the cancer surgery are barely mentioned. This is, instead, an account of the Reagan presidency: how the decisions were made and how policy was executed. Reagan is a difficult man to write a balanced book about, but Cannon has succeeded. He examines Reagan's style, his strengths and weaknesses, his successes and failures, without assuming that Reagan was either a hero or a scoundrel. Cannon's explanations are invariably thoughtful, intelligent, and well researched. My only criticism is that the book seems to focus excessively heavily on just a couple of cases: namely the bombing of the Marines in Lebanon and the Irancontra affair. Many equally important events get much less attention. Despite that, the book is probably the best account of the Reagan presidency which we have, and I would have given it 4 1/2 stars if Amazon allowed that.









2 von 4 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
1.0 von 5 Sternen
The most sickening book I have ever read, 12. März 2000
I read this book when it was first published, in the 60's. I was then a student at Brigham Young University, espousing the religion which Andelin claims as her inspiration. The fundamental theme underlying the entire book is contempt: contempt for men, contempt for women, contempt for marriage. To Andelin, men are so selfish and insecure that they have to be manipulated by preposterous and insincere displays of not just affection, but outright worship. Women are completely worthless except as support for men. And God is a Creator who supposedly designed these contemptible, vacuous creatures, and commands that they remain contemptible. One wonders why Andelin or anyone else would worship God at all, if He produced a race of such despicable beings and then demanded gratitude and worship for doing so. If you have any selfrespect, if you have any respect for others, if you have any respect for marriage, then read this book only as a joke, or as an example of how sick and twisted a human's brain can become.


